to washington (Private.) - Alexander Hamilton, The Works of Alexander Hamilton, (Federal Edition), vol. 10 
The Works of Alexander Hamilton, ed. Henry Cabot Lodge (Federal Edition) (New York: G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 1904). In 12 vols. Vol. 10.
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Feb. 12, 1795.
I have maturely reflected on the subject of the within papers. I do not hesitate to give it as my opinion that, if it were not for very peculiar personal circumstances, the fittest arrangement, upon the whole, would be to consign the temporary execution of the comptroller’s office to the commissioner of the revenue. But I could not advise this, because it could not fail, for strong reasons, to be unpleasant to Mr. Wolcott, and because there is real danger that Mr. Coxe would first perplex and embarrass, and afterward misrepresent and calumniate.
The treasurer would by no means answer, because, as the keeper of the money, it is particularly essential that all the checks upon him should be maintained in full vigor, and the comptroller is the officer who, in the last resort, settles his accounts, as well as concurs, in the first instance, in authorizing, by the warrants which are issued by the secretary, and countersigned by the comptroller, the payments and receipts of the treasurer.
The register is also one of the principal checks of the department: first, upon the secretary and comptroller, whose warrants he must register and sign before they can take effect; and secondly, upon the settlements of the comptroller and auditor, by recording their acts, and entering them upon the books to the proper accounts.
Of any of the officers of the department, except the commissioner of the revenue, the business can be best managed through the auditor, consistently with the preservation of the most material checks, with the restriction I mentioned this morning, of his not deciding, as comptroller, upon any account he may have settled as auditor. The temporary suspension of the final conclusion of the accounts—all the previous examinations going on, cannot be attended with any serious inconvenience. If the laws admit of it (which I doubt, as they now stand), the appointment of the auditor’s first clerk to act as the auditor in his stead will be a conveniency. I do not think this would be liable to the same objections as the appointing a clerk to act as comptroller, whose office imports the second trust in the department. In one sense, to appoint the auditor to act as comptroller, would comport best with the spirit of the constitution of the department. This is, that the officer who is to settle the accounts by countersigning the warrants for receipts and payments, shall have an opportunity to observe this conformity with the course of business as it appears in the accounts, and shall have notice in the first instance of all payments and receipts, in order to the bringing all persons to account for public moneys. This reason operates to make the auditor, who is the coadjutor of the comptroller in settlements, his most fit substitute in this particular view.
On the whole, I am of opinion that it is most advisable to appoint the auditor.
A clerk, for reasons already mutually adverted to, does not appear to be expedient. I have the honor to be, etc.
P. S.—The restriction above suggested, for greater caution, had best be in writing in a letter to the Secretary of the Treasury.
The instrument appears to me to be in proper form.